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Establishing the rationale for green infrastructure investment in Indian cities: is the mainstreaming of urban greening an expanding or diminishing reality?

Department of Geography & Planning, University of Liverpool, Gordon Stephenson Building, Liverpool, L69 7ZQ, UK

Special Issues: Urban Greening for Low Carbon Cities

Green infrastructure planning in India has the potential to rationalise current development issues relating to economic growth and rapid urban expansion. Independence from the British facilitated progressive shift to an economically driven development based on modernisation and partial-deregulation of infrastructure provision. The impact of this process has been a decoupling of human-environmental approaches to urban planning and reliance on the utilisation of landscape resources beyond their capacity. Utilising a discussion of Nehruvian and Gandhian perspectives to urban development, this paper argues that whilst both approaches offer valuable mechanism for growth, an integrated analysis which links them provides a more responsive and effective structure for planning to deliver change. Green infrastructure approaches to urban investment are proposed in this paper to create equilibrium between the difficulties of balancing economic growth with sustainable urban development. Through an evaluation of state and alternative investment drivers this paper proposes that urban greening can form a mainstream framework to facilitate a sustainable approach to urban expansion. The paper concludes by stating that approaching investments in green infrastructure through an understanding of a state-interactions provides scope to plan economic development and ecological sustainably effectively.
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